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Strategic Sonoma Scorecard

Strategic Plan

Last updated September 2022


Strategic Sonoma is a five-year economic development strategic action plan for Sonoma County. Strategic Sonoma was commissioned by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) in partnership with the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board and Santa Rosa Junior College, and approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on July 10, 2018. The plan includes three parts: (1) a Competitive Assessment, providing extensive data and benchmarking analysis, (2) a Target Cluster Analysis, identifying key industries in Sonoma County, and (3) an Action Plan, outlining strategic goals and specific projects to address Sonoma County’s strategic priorities and create a more resilient, vibrant economy. Utilizing a collaborative framework, the Action Plan includes a discussion on implementation, suggests partner organizations to be involved with each goal, and offers metrics to track progress and provide accountability.

Read the full plan (PDF: 56 MB)

As the plan moves from development into the implementation phase, Inclusive Economic Development continues to be a primary theme. Through the planning process, the planning team spoke directly to nearly 200 individuals representing more than 140 organizations from across the county. As we work our way through the five-year action plan, the Strategic Sonoma team will provide progress updates and opportunities for feedback and collaboration. Since the plan’s approval in July, progress has been made in all six priority areas of the action plan, with many projects ahead of schedule:

  • In the priority area of Recovery, every single action item recommended by Strategic Sonoma has been accomplished.
  • In Housing, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber has launched the recommended Employer Housing Council and the County and Cities continue to explore short-term housing solutions and make progress on updating policies to expedite the development of new housing options.
  • In Talent, employers and educators are building partnerships and new programs to address the county’s workforce challenges.
  • In Diversification, manufacturing and tech companies have come together to explore forming a Manufacturing and Tech Alliance to address issues of common concern to strengthen manufacturing and tech as a major cluster in the Sonoma County economy.
  • In Sustainability, cities are working to create incentives to encourage green building practices and the county is continuing to convert government fleets to electric vehicles.
  • In Mobility, the cities and county are collaborating with regional planning agencies to leverage regional networks and resources, as well as update their own plans to increase Last Mile solutions and affordable options.

This progress report does its best to capture a high level view of what is being accomplished with respect to the recommended projects in the Strategic Sonoma Action Plan. It is by no means a complete representation of all the work that all non-profits, private companies, educational institutions, and government entities are engaged in throughout Sonoma County. We recognize that it is impossible to include everyone, so this report mainly consists of self-reported progress and progress made by partners we are directly working with

Project Overview

Progress to Date: in the priority goal area of recovery, 7 out of 7 projects are completed or on-going. In housing, 5 are complete or on-going, two are incomplete, and one has yet to be started. In Talent, four are completed or on-going, two are in progress, and one is imcomplete. In diversification, four are completed or ongoing, one is in progress, and two are not started. In sustainability, three are complete or ongoing, three are in progress, and one is not started. In mobility, four are completed, one is in progress, and one is not started.

$21 Million in Small Business recovery loan funds disbursed

About 6,000 housing units in the pipeline across the nine cities and county

Two million pounds of debris cleared

An average of 12,000 gallons of fuel per year saved by the County Fleet’s alternate fuels program

Selected Project Details

Goal Defined Project Project Team Status Project Details
Recovery Assist local businesses with capital programs and assistance.. EDB, City of Santa Rosa, SBDC On Going EDB is in the second stage of 2nd $1 million grant application for revolving loan fund.
Recovery Align recovery efforts and organizations. Sonoma County ORR, City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County Community Foundation On Going County and Santa Rosa efforts are aligned through focus leads; have presence on TACs/recovery orgs. Community Foundation’s OneSonoma project identifies common goals and efforts through systems mapping.
Recovery Develop an online portal that provides real time tracking of recovery progress. County of Sonoma, City of Santa Rosa Completed The County of Sonoma and the City of Santa have developed online portals and update regularly.
Housing Establish a permanent Sonoma County Employer Housing Council. Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, Employers, Financial Institutions, SSU, SRJC, Building Experts Completed The Employer Housing Council, which includes 15 major Sonoma County employers, will convene to advance progress toward the County’s housing goals (30,000 housing units by 2025), provide a forum for employers to share information, assist jurisdictions in removing barriers to development, and assist housing projects to financially get off the ground.
Housing Explore solutions for short-term workforce housing. EDB,
County of Sonoma, Cities, Employers
On Going County and Cities updated ADU, RV rules. 22 tiny homes have been built.
Housing Engage in a campaign to vote yes to the proposed housing bond. City of Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, Green Belt Alliance Incomplete The $124 million Santa Rosa housing bond, Measure N, received 62% of the vote, falling short of the required two-thirds majority.
Housing Update public policies to expedite the development of new housing options. County of Sonoma, Cities,
On Going County and City of Santa Rosa formed a Renewal Enterprise District to address barriers, use land assets strategically, and target new capital sources. City of Santa Rosa is implementing a Downtown High-Density Residential Incentive Program, reviewing potential city property, has two Federal Opportunity Zones, and is express permitting downtown infill.
Housing Inventory priority sites for new housing development. County of Sonoma, Cities,
Completed Request to the public for housing sites yielded 50+ responses, with the potential to create about 2,000 units.
Talent Establish a Talent Alignment Council EDB, WIB, SRJC, SSU, Empire College, Employers Completed 8 employers and 3 educational institutions have formed a Talent Alignment Council to create career pathways programs and align curriculum with workforce needs.
Talent Establish a construction skills training center. EDB, SRJC, CTE Foundation, North Coast Builders Exchange, Labor, Employers In Progress Second stage of $10 million grant application to build a center that would train 750 construction workers per year.
Talent Develop industry sector partnerships around Sonoma County’s target clusters. EDB, WIB, Employers, Industry Groups In Progress EDB and the Sonoma County Hospitality Association are launching a new Hospitality Apprenticeship Program. The Talent Alignment Council might explore more industry specific partnerships.
Talent Expand the WIB’s Dislocated and Training programs. WIB, EDB Completed WIB received $3.2 million to expand program to assist dislocated with re-employment services and job training.
Talent Promote the manufacturing industry in Sonoma County WIB, EDB Completed Manufacturing Day 2019 saw a 40% increase in student participation from 2018 and featured over a dozen employers and educators from Sonoma County as well as site tours and hands on learning at four Local manufactures. Throughout the pandemic CTE, SCOE, and EDB have continued to showcase manufacturing to students through virtual formats.
Talent Apprenticeship placement in manufacturing. CTE Foundation, SCOE, EDB On Going Sonoma Corps is an initiative of the CTE Foundation and many partners. Sonoma Corps is a 2 year program where students attend 1 year of labs surrounding workforce readiness their senior year of high school the student embarks on a gap year internship with a local manufacturer. The pilot program was launched in August 2019.
Diversification Create a Manufacturing and Tech Alliance. EDB, WIB, Manufacturing and Tech Employers Completed Partners came together on Jan. 16, 2019 to explore establishing a Manufacturing and Tech Alliance. The Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Allicance (META) continues to meet on a quartlery basis. 
Diversification Facilitate a gap analysis of commercial real estate in Sonoma County. Sonoma County EDB Completed EDB is creating a “gap analysis” of commercial real estate absorption in Sonoma County.
Sustainability Continue efforts to convert all government fleets to electric vehicles. County of Sonoma, Cities On Going At least 29% of County fleet is electric or hybrid, saving 181K gallons of fuel and reducing CO2 emission by 1,615 metric tons since 2002.
Mobility Support Access Sonoma Broadband’s efforts to close the digital divide. Access Sonoma Broadband, County ofSonoma, Cities, EDB On Going Access Sonoma Broadband is working with County to adopt “dig once” policies, applying for USDA grant to bring high-speed broadband to 500+ residents and 70+ businesses in Dry Creek.
Implementation Form Strategic Sonoma Executive Committee Sonoma County EDB Completed EDB board formed as the Strategic Sonoma Executive Committee.

Emerging Needs & Projects

GoalDefined Project Project Team StatusProject Details
RecoveryPower Safety Shutoff Guide (PSPS). EDBComplete The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has provided business owners in the community with an informational guide to operations during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
RecoveryEconomic Impact Analysis EDB, Sonoma County Tourism, Moody’s Analytics Complete Determines the projected losses due to the Pacific Gas and Electric companies’ public safety power shutoffs and continue to provide economic analysis of this event.
Recovery Business Recovery Guide (2019) EDB Complete The Sonoma County Economic Development Board created a business recovery guide for those affected by the 2019 Kincaid Fire. Resources included grants and loans.
Recovery Kincaid Fire Economic Impact Analysis EDB, Moody’s Analytics, County of Sonoma Complete Determines the projected economic losses due to the Kincaid fire.
Recovery SBA Resource and Business Assistance SBA, EDB Complete The Small Business Administration and the EDB are providing business assistance and financial resources to Sonoma County following the Kincaid fire.

Note: This section titled: “Emerging Needs and Projects” was not originally recommended in the 2018 Strategic Sonoma Action Plan. This section will be updated as required.

Self-Reported Partners

This is a list of community organizations that have reported activity related to these Strategic Sonoma projects. We recognize that there are many organizations working on these projects or similar projects who might not be listed below. If you know of any organizations that should be listed here, please let us know. Please note that all surveyed data contained in this report is based on the information self-reported by respondents, which was not factually verified by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. 

Access Sonoma Broadband
Bodega Bay Area Chamber
Burbank Housing
Ceres Community Project
City of Cotati
City of Cloverdale
City of Healdsburg  
City of Rohnert Park
City of Santa Rosa
City of Sebastopol  
City of Sonoma
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Cotati Chamber of Commerce
County of Sonoma
CTE Foundation
Empire College
Farmers Guild
Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire  
La Luz Center
Napa/Sonoma Small Business Development Center Petaluma Education Foundation

Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa Metro Chamber
Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce
Society of Manufacturing and Engineering  Sonoma County Community Foundation
Sonoma County Economic Development Board Sonoma County Family YMCA
Sonoma County Farm Bureau  
Sonoma County Growers Alliance  
Sonoma County Lodging Association
Sonoma County Office of Education
Sonoma County Office of Resiliency and Recovery Sonoma County Tourism
Sonoma County Water Agency
Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board Sonoma State University
Town of Windsor
United Way of the Wine Country
Visit Santa Rosa
West County Health Centers
Windsor Chamber